The frontrunner to become the next DNC chair warned Trump could win in July 2015 - and was laughed at


Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota


Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota appears on ABC's This Week in 2015.

Three days after Donald Trump won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States, the Democratic Party, like much of the country, is still in shock over the upset.

One major party figure was likely not surprised, however, based on statements made over a year ago.

In July 2015, Rep. Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota and the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, appeared on ABC's "This Week" and warned about ignoring Trump's momentum.

Ellison is now considered a top contender for chair of the Democratic National Committee after receiving endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as other major party figures.

During a roundtable discussion on "This Week," host George Stephanopoulos asked his panelists - ABC news political analyst Matthew Dowd,  New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, and Ellison - to explain Trump's appeal.


After each panelist spoke, Stephanopoulos turned to Ellison, who had remained silent and smiling throughout the discussion. Here's what he said:

"Well, all I want to say is that anybody -- well, from the Democratic side of the fence, who thinks -- who's terrified of the possibility of President Trump better vote, better get active, better get involved, because this man has some momentum, and we better be ready for the fact that he might be leading the Republican ticket."

The panelists broke out into laughter and Stephanopoulos told Ellison, "I know you don't believe that." Ellison continued:

"You know, George, we had Jesse Ventura in Minnesota win the govern ship. Nobody thought he was going to win. I'm telling you, stranger things have happened."

Ellison's sentiment proved prescient. 


Here's the video: